Exclusive Interview: Andy Cairns from Therapy?

There’s a lot going on in the Therapy? camp. Tell me about your latest CD, “High Anxiety.”

Well, we wanted to make something very quickly and very high energy. We had a bunch of songs written between our record deals that were very energetic and uptempo. Spitfire came along and said they really wanted to do something with us. We decided that we had ten or 11 songs at that point. We had a 2 1/2 week deadline to do it and we said, “Sure – let’s go on and do it. It will keep the energy up.” We went in with our new drummer and we’re really, really, happy with it.

I know you’ve got a live DVD in the works.

That’s right. We filmed that in our hometown of Belfast in northern Ireland. We did an hour and a half show. The DVD is going to feature that particular concert plus another disc that’s an hour long documentary of the band. The documentary goes right back to our beginnings in 1990. It will have all the promo stuff on it, loads of live footage with different line-ups, and little bits and pieces of interviews.

You had some fan input on the documentary disc, right?

Yeah. We put up on our website an message boards that we’re looking for stuff. People have been coming to shows with…we’re not one of those bands that’s against bootlegs. That’s why we wouldn’t release a bootleg album. We just said to the kids that whatever you’ve got, bring it along. Now we’ve got bits and pieces of gigs that we didn’t think were filmed.

You’re playing a cool gig on September 7!

Yeah…we’re playing with The Stones. That should be quite exciting. It’s in Belgium where we’re quite popular in a way. Just getting to play with the Stones is quite cool for us. It’s nice to play with someone who is that different. We’re all rock ‘n roll at the end of the day but we tend to get stuck with younger bands or bands that would be our peers, which is cool, but’s it’s nice to play something which is a bit more challenging – like the Stones. Plus, we get to see them live. Believe it or not, the years I’ve been going I’ve never got a chance to see the Rolling Stones live.

Do you think any of your fans might think it’s weird that you’re doing a show with the Stones?

I don’t think so because it’s in Belgium. There’s another three bands on the bill that are techno-pop bands from Holland and Belgium. It’s a really, really, eclectic bill. If it was just us and the Stones with four or five other rock bands the might think it was strange. When they put together festivals in Europe they have rock bands, techno bands, reggae bands…the lineups are usually all over the place. I think if we played with them in the States people might wonder what we’re doing. In Europe that kind of ecelctic bill has been accepted.

You’ve done quite a bit of gigs in Europe. Will you be touring the States?

We’d love to. We’ve talked to the U.S. record company about this. We have plans to do more shows in Europe after the summer. If we get a good enough response from the CD and the record company wants to give us tour support then we will come over. We’d like to go over and have a crack at a proper tour. In the past with A&M records, we’d do a handful of shows. It’d be nice to come over and spend a fair amount of time there. We’ll see what we can put together.

I remember the first time I heard Therapy? was on the Black Sabbath tribute CD, “Nativity In Black.”

We did that track with Ozzy himself…it was “Iron Man.” We did that track in Los Angeles. We were on tour at the time. We were asked to do it by Sharon Osbourne. We turned up in the studio and Ozzy was there. He is such a legendary character. We are all massive Sabbath and Ozzy fans and to actually do this in the same room with him – he was brilliant. He’s really cool and he nailed the vocal in one take. I remember telling him, “God, that’s amazing!” He said, “If you’ve been singing it for 20 years”…and laughed. He was a really good guy. We’ve always said that’s a story for the grandchildren.

Your deal with Spitfire…is it just for “High Anxiety” or does it involve more?

They’re putting out this DVD we’re doing as well. I do know that so far this record – in the first six weeks of it’s release – has sold more than the last two on the last label. They’re really positive about that. Hopefully if things keep going that way they’ll pick up the option to do the next record. The important thing for us now is to get to come over and play in the States. We’d love to come over there again. We’ve always said we’d love to have a big enough fanbase in the States that every time we planned a tour the States would be there. Know what I mean? It’d be nice to come out once a year even if it’s only for six weeks. Even small clubs six weeks out would be fine for us. We have people email us and ask when we’re coming…That’s what we’d like to do, you know?

This is a selfish question for me. I’m a huge Slade fan. Are they still big in Europe?

Oh, God yes! They’re legends. Legendary status over here. Every now and then they’ll get together for one or two shows for charity. I know they’re still very, very, well respected. They’re one of those bands that have big songs and big guitars. I think they’re on the the bands that are universally loved. I remember the Ramones saying they were into Slade as well. That was really cool.

What do you want everyone to know about Therapy?

Be on the lookout for the DVD. It will hopefully have a worldwide release in October. It’s a two-disc set…a live concert featuring the “High Anxiety” material and the other disc will go back to the beginning of the band. Hopefully if things go well we’ll try to get more material recorded this year. We’re really looking for an opening in the States so we can come over and play some shows.